Thursday, August 19, 2021

John E. Spalding 3rd reorganized

John E. Spalding was 24 years old when he enlisted in Company E, 3rd Michigan Reorganized Infantry on September 3, 1864, at Grand Rapids, for three years and was mustered on September 9. He was discharged at Benton Barracks, MO, on September 28, 1865. 

He eventually returned to Michigan and settled in Grand Rapids township. He is buried in Mason Cemetery.

Monday, April 05, 2021


Theodore Castor, Company C

Of 388 men who were wounded while serving in the 3rd Michigan, 335, or more than 86% of the total wounded, suffered gunshot wounds. (pictured: Theodore Castor, lost a leg at the Wilderness on May 5, 1864)

Very few were wounded by cannon fire and there were no reports of men being wounded by bayonet although hand-to-hand combat did happen. 

Company I had the highest number of men wounded (48), while Company A had the lowest number (28). 

By engagement: 

  • Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862 - 92
  • Groveton (Second Bull Run), August 31, 1862 - 100
  • Chancellorsville, May 5, 1863 - 41
  • Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863 - 22
  • Mine Run, November 30, 1863 - 9
  • Wilderness , May 6, 1864 - 62
  • Spotsylvania, May 12, 1864 - 24

In the week of May 5-12, 1864, alone, the Old 3rd Michigan suffered 88 wounded (or nearly 23% of the total wounded). 

  • First man wounded was Henry Kampe of Company C, at Germantown, Virginia, on July 17, 1861, the day before the Regiment was engaged at Blackburn’s Ford, near Bull Run.
  • Last man wounded in the regiment was Philo Wier of Company G on June 10, 1864; he subsequently died of his wounds on July 1
  • Last man wounded in wartime was George D. Hill, while serving as a member of the 1st Michigan cavalry, on April 9, 1865

During the war 434 men were discharged and 40 officers resigned from the 3rd Michigan on account of a disability of one type or another. 

Another 65 men from the Old 3rd who had been consolidated into the 5th Michigan were discharged for disability. 

Altogether some 539 or more than 38% of the total enrolled were discharged for disability. 

At least 42 men suffered the loss of a limb. Some of the more common disabilities reported were:  Asthma, bronchitis, consumption, deafness, dysentery, epilepsy, gunshot, heart disease, hemorrhoids, hernia, measles, pneumonia, rheumatic fever, rheumatism sunstroke, trauma or accident, typhoid fever, varicose veins and venereal disease  

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Additional service

Between late December of 1863 and March of 1864, 206 men reenlisted for three more years of service. Company G had the highest number of reenlistments, 24 (or 13.4% of the total reenlisted). Company B had the lowest with 11 (6.1%). The average reenlistment was 18 per company. 

Transfer and Second Units
Aside from the 362 men who transferred into the 5th Michigan Infantry following consolidation in June of 1864, some 357 Old 3rd Michigan men were either transferred or discharged and reentered the military. 

Of that number 57 would join a third unit. 

At least 195 men entered a second Michigan unit. 

If we add the 357 men who reentered a second unit to the 362 men who were transferred to the 5th Michigan infantry, we arrive at a grand total of 719 men who served in a second unit, or 51% of the overall total of men who served in the Old 3rd Michigan.

Former Old 3rd Michigan soldiers also enlisted in units of other states as well as the federal armed forces:

  • 3 in Illinois
  • 1 in Indiana
  • 1 in Massachusetts
  • 1 in Minnesota
  • 1 in Missouri
  • 1 in New Jersey
  • 19 in New York
  • 5 in Ohio
  • 3 in Pennsylvania
  • 3 in Wisconsin
  • 47 in the U.S. Army, including 5 in various United States Colored units
  • 1 in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • 6 in the U.S. Navy
  • 90 in the Veterans Reserve Corps


Saturday, April 03, 2021


Five men who began their military career in the 3rd Michigan ended the war as brevet generals: 

  • Brigadier General Stephen Champlin began the war as Major
  • Brigadier General Moses Houghton began as Captain of Company D
  • Brigadier General Israel Smith began as a lieutenant in Company F
  • Brigadier General Ambrose Stevens began as Lieutenant Colonel
  • Major General Byron R. Pierce began as Captain of Company K (pictured above)

Of these five, only Champlin did not survive the war. 

Of the original Field & Staff:

  • Colonel Dan McConnell remained a Colonel
  • Lieutenant Colonel Ambrose Stevens became a Brevet Brigadier General
  • Major Stephen Champlin became a Brevet Brigadier General
  • Quartermaster Robert Collins ended the war as a Captain of Subsistence
  • Dr. D. W. Bliss ended the war as a Colonel
  • Dr. Zenas Bliss finished the war as Lieutenant Colonel
  • Drum Major Valentine Rebhun was discharged for disability and reentered the 19th Michigan infantry 

Of the Musicians who served in the Old 3rd Michigan: 

  • 2 would become Captains
  • 2 became First Lieutenants
  • 1 became a Second Lieutenant

Of the 10 original Captains: 

  • Samuel Judd of Company A died a Captain
  • Adolph Birkenstock of Company C ended the war a Sergeant
  • Byron Pierce of Company K became a Brevet Major General
  • Moses Houghton of Company D became a Brevet Brigadier General
  • the rest remained captains

Of the 10 original First Lieutenants: 

  • 5 became Captains
  • 3 remained First Lieutenants
  • Charles Spang of Company H ended the war a Private
  • Fred Worden of Company F became a Lieutenant Colonel

Of the 9 original Second Lieutenants: 

  • Israel Smith of Company E became a Brevet Brigadier General
  • William Ryan of Company H became a Major
 2 became Captains
  • 2 became First Lieutenants
  • 2 remained Second Lieutenants
  • George Phillips of Company D ended the war a Sergeant

Of 48 Sergeants: 

  • Dan Root of Company K ended the war a Lieutenant Colonel
  • Homer Thayer of Company G became a Major
  • George Remington of Company F became an Adjutant
  • 13 became Captains
  • 5 became First Lieutenants
  • 6 became Second Lieutenants
  • 10 remained Sergeants
  • 1 ended the war a corporal
  • 9 came out of the war as Privates

Of 78 Corporals: 

  • Don Lovell of Company A became a Major
  • Peter Weber of Company A became a Major
  • Milton Leonard of Company F a Captain
  • 8 became Lieutenants
  • 8 ended the war as Sergeants
  • 27 remained corporals
  • 17 ended the war as Privates

Four Privates would become Majors: Emery Moon, Dan Kennicutt, George Nairn, and Michael Long

  • 8 privates would become Captains
  • 11 became First Lieutenants
  • 3 became Second Lieutenants
  • 1 was a Naval Ensign.

Curiously, not one man who enlisted in the Old 3rd Michigan after June of 1861 became a commissioned officer.